Blue Origin teaches space tourists who land in the desert what to do if their rocket lands next to a cactus

Advertisement
Blue Origin teaches space tourists who land in the desert what to do if their rocket lands next to a cactus
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos next to launch of New Shepard rocket. Getty Images / Blue Origin
  • Blue Origin passengers are trained in what to do if a cactus blocks their rocket ship's exit.
  • Chris Boshuizen told Insider that ground crew wearing steel-toed boots will help solve the issue.

Jeff Bezos' aerospace company, Blue Origin, teaches its space tourists how to get out of the rocket capsule if there's a cactus in the way of the door, passenger Chris Boshuizen told Insider.

It was part of the training that the four-person crew completed before they launched to the edge of space in Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket, said Boshuizen, who was onboard the company's spaceflight on October 13.

"We practiced what to do if the capsule lands ... and there's a cactus in front of us," said the entrepreneur and former NASA engineer.

Advertisement

The astronauts must wait in the rocket's capsule for the ground crew to come over, Boshuizen said. They will wear steel-toed boots to help push the cactus out of the way, he said.

When the rocket descends back to Earth, it releases three parachutes to slow it down before landing in the Texas desert, where there's a chance of it falling on top of or next to a cactus.

"Obviously, you don't just jump out the door when [the rocket is] lying on the cactus," he said.

Advertisement

A Blue Origin spokesperson confirmed to Insider that this is part of the training. "We review a number of scenarios with our astronauts to help ensure their comfort and safety with the entire experience," the spokesperson said.

Blue Origin teaches space tourists who land in the desert what to do if their rocket lands next to a cactus
Chris Boshuizen; third from right next to other Blue Origin passengers, including William Shatner, in front of New Shepard rocket. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Blue Origin announced in September that Boshuizen and three other people, including "Star Trek" actor William Shatner, were the four passengers to fly to the edge of space for an 11-minute journey in the New Shepard rocket.

Boshuizen described the training as "intense" but said it was just the right amount to prepare them for the spaceflight.

Advertisement

The four crew members were trained on what to do in different situations, such as how to get safely out of the rocket capsule if Blue Origin decide to cancel the launch when they're buckled up in their seats, Boshuizen said.

{{}}